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Barium swallow




A barium swallow is a medical imaging procedure used to examine the upper GI (gastrointestinal) tract, which includes the oesophagus and, to a lesser extent, the stomach.


Barium sulphate is a type of contrast medium that is visible to x-rays. As the patient swallows the barium suspension, it coats the esphagus with a thin layer of the barium. This enables the hollow structure to be imaged.


The patient is asked to drink a suspension of barium sulfate. Fluoroscopy images are taken as the barium is swallowed. This is typically at a rate of 2 or 3 frames pers second. The patient is asked to swallow the Barium a number of times, whilst standing in different positions, i.e. AP, oblique and lateral, to assess the 3D structure as best possible.


Pathologies detected on a Barium Swallow include:

  • Achalasia
  • Oesophageal pouch
  • Cancer of oesophagus
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula
  • Schatzki ring
  • Reflux
  • Zenker's diverticulum
  • Hiatus hernia

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Barium_swallow". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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